I got a chinese tea set as a gift but the teapot doesn't have a strainer inside. Where can I get a fine sieve/metal mesh strainer for tea leaves that will fit the opening? Are they standard sizes or not? Can I be accomodated by mass retail stores or will I need to go to specialty shops?
I know exactly what you are talking about.
there are 2 stores in chinatown, which sell japanese stuff ( they themselves are chinese stores)
i will visit them and take their names. or photos of their names, as I have seen the wire mesh cylinder strainer there.
in the meanwhile: there is a japanese grocery store, few stores away from maison bulogi, or the old omer des serres, on st. catherine (near atwater). they sell quite a few versions, but do not know if they have what you are looking for.
alternatively, they have ceramic mugs that have a ceramic strainer, and a lid
for a one time infusion.
btw- good move to buy such a strainer, i drink 1 litre of green tea,
and had to figure out a way of making it in bulk and also reusing the leaves for a second infusion. these mesh strainers enable the tea leaves to fully bloom, vs the tea balls- that work for indian chai leaves.i also take out the strainer after 2-3 min. of infusion and leave the tea in my pot- do not know if that is correct, but that is what is suggested.
i stay away frm plastic strainers, and i prefer buying made in japan for this kind of stuff.
In Chinatown, there is a dark-looking catch-all store on de la Gauchetiere W. between Patisserie Harmonie and Jardin de Jade. They have all kinds of Chinese gift items, including teapots and metal loose tea strainers on the left aisle. Hopefully they have the size you are looking for.
I went to Marche Hawai and found the said strainer but they were sold as a set with the teapot and I notices the sizes were different. I will try Kim Phat since I think they have a bigger supply of kitchen accesories and supplies. Is there any store in Chinatown that would carry more of this type of stuff? I remember a while ago somebody mentionned a chinese tea shop near chinatown...
In general, Chinese at home don't use tea strainers as they just refill the tea pot from time to time with hot water and they don't use too much tea leaves unlike the Chinese restaurants. I've used those tea leaf compartment things from tea bodums and tea balls on a chain in the tea pots, but in general I don't when making green tea and I usually only use about a teaspoon of green tea.